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Friday, December 2, 2016

Reviewing the Nikkor AIS 300mm f/4.5 Lens

Based on my discussions online (but also in... real life), I think most DSLR beginners coming from a compact or, more probably nowadays, their cell phone camera are after reach. Whether because their compact camera had a ridiculous 20x zoom or, conversely, because their cell phone didn't, everyone seems enamored with very long teles. Soon enough, they realize that a lens that is both good and long costs serious money. As a result, many resort to older lenses, such as the Nikon Nikkor 300mm f/4.5 AIS I'm reviewing today

Optically it's great; getting that is a wholly other matter

+ A 300mm prime at this price is really worth considering
+ Superb precision in focusing
+ Optically it's more than decent...

- ... though as an f/4.5 lens without autofocus and VR, getting that quality out of the lens is a different story
- Although it's not exactly big and heavy (for a full-frame tele at least), it's not very small & light either
- Badly designed tripod collar (Nikon was never great at balancing them right)

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Happy Birthday AmateurNikon!

Time really does fly. Today, November 26, AmateurNikon celebrates its fifth birthday. Exactly five years ago, on November 26, 2011, the first ever AmateurNikon article was published. It was this one, a review of the Nikon Nikkor AFS 18-55mm lens.

Since then I have published well over a hundred reviews, together with dozens of other articles, including advice on photography and Photoshop tutorials. I also wrote several books. Each and every one of those articles had a common goal:
To help you get the best of your camera
As I state in AmateurNikon's "about" page, AmateurNikon began after I realized two things:
  1. I learned all the important lessons in photography all by myself, by trial & error.
  2. There is an excessive amount of cold facts about cameras and lenses, and very few about real-life use.

I wanted to spare you the meaningless details and get straight to the point, which should always be an image. We can talk all day about "marks" and MTF charts, we can spend days over black-and-white diagrams viewed at 100%, trying to gauge whether lens A is sharper than lens B, but if at the end of the day you can't give me an image inspiring a reaction, conveying feelings, thoughts, or states of mind (affect, in other words), then what's the point? Diagrams and "marks" don't make art. Therefore:
AmateurNikon doesn't care about diagrams
I care about photography and art.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Nikon Goodies for the 2016 Black Friday

The 2016 Black Friday is just around the corner (with Christmas also approaching) and perhaps it's a good idea to take a look at what kind of deals a Nikon photographer should keep an eye on. We've got quite a few exciting things in 2016, so it's time to peek inside the bag and see what's there.

The Nikon D500 has been long-awaited, but it's not the only thing to look for in the 2016 Black Friday

The most intriguing products Nikon offered this year are, in my opinion, the following: